After a year of lockdown, the visitor centre at MARS Wildlife Rescue is reopening.

Starting this week, 45-minute tours are opening up every Friday to Sunday from 10:00am to 2:30 pm.

Until Covid restrictions are lifted, indoor exhibits will remain closed. Instead, tours will be led outside with visitors taking a look at the ambassador aviaries and new native plant trails. 

Tours are limited to eight people and must be booked in advance online 

Some of the birds you’ll be able to see are hawks, eagles and owls, with two new Ambassador birds.

Two new additions to the MARS Center are Nimpkish and Kokish, a sibling pair of albino crows from the ‘Namgis First Nations territory near Port McNeil.

MARS says the white birds came to them from injuries inflicted by other crows. Like our other Ambassadors, the crows can’t be released as they could not survive in the wild. 

That’s because of poor vision and other problems caused by their albinism. Like other albinos, Nimpkish and Kokish are partially blind, but have learned the locations of their perches in their aviary and their interactions and acrobatic feats are wonderful to watch.

The MARS Wildlife Center, which is based in Merville, focuses on the conservation and protection of native wildlife and its natural habitat through education and rehabilitation.

So far in 2021, 407 animals have been rescued. 

More information on the tours can be found on MARS’s website or Facebook page.